Abortion pills by mail pose challenge for officials in red states

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May 4, 2022

"The need for abortion will not go away," said Abigail Aiken, an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin who was the lead author on the research. The result of state restrictions on medical abortions, she said, will lead to "an increase in self-managed abortion, outside the formal health-care setting. What we have seen is that every time states move to restrict abortion, there is an increase in self-managed abortions."

An online source of abortion pill information maintained by abortion supporters Plan C lists links to five online pharmacies, which it says are based in India. Plan C periodically conducts test shopping to make sure the pharmacies are performing as promised. In 2017, when it first provided the listings, Plan C commissioned tests of the drugs to verify they contained the correct ingredients, said Elisa Wells, an abortion rights activist and co-founder of the site.

"These laws that state legislators are trying to pass aren't going to stop abortion. They are just going to change how people access abortion," she said. She said the FDA has not threatened any action against Plan C. "We're providing information, not providing a medical service. And we think this is some of the most important information that people can have in the face of the injustice that is happening with respect to abortion access in our country."

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